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Economic Data

Welcome to the ‘Economic Data’ section of Insight DIY, which includes a summary of all of the key UK economic indicators that you may need to know within your business. Each of these key indicators are updated as and when they are released by their various sources and provide a really valuable addition to any monthly report or business overview.

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

July Monthly Index*: 428.8 (June: 425.9)
Monthly Change*: 0.6% (June 0.5%)
Annual Change: 2.5% (June: 2.4%)
July Average Price: (not seasonally adjusted) £217,010 (June: £215,444)

* Seasonally adjusted figure (note that monthly % changes are revised when seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated)

Key Findings
- Annual house price growth slows to a five-year low in June
- UK annual house price softened to 2%
- Prices up 0.5% during the month, after taking account of seasonal factors
- London was the weakest performing region in Q2, with prices down 1.9% year-on-year

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: 

“Annual house price growth fell to its slowest pace for five years in June. However, at 2% this was only modestly below the 2.4% recorded the previous month.

“Indeed, annual house price growth has been confined to a fairly narrow range of c2-3% over the past 12 months, suggesting little change in the balance between demand and supply in the market over that period.

“There are few signs of an imminent change. Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries, while the supply of properties on the market remains more of a trickle than a torrent.

“Looking further ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates.

“Subdued economic activity and ongoing pressure on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year, though borrowing costs are likely to remain low.

“Overall, we continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018."

Period: Q2 2018

Release Date: July 2018
Next Release Date: August 2018

Nationwide are the world's largest building society and one of the UK's largest mortgage providers. They have the longest unbroken run of house price data, stretching back to 1952 on a quarterly basis and 1991 on a monthly basis. Here you can access their monthly and quarterly house price reports, special features and download data series. 

Source: Nationwide House Price Index

Bank of England Base Rate

Bank of England

Current Bank Rate: 0.75%
Previous Month’s Bank Rate: 0.5%

Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Next Release Date: 13th September 2018

Source: Bank of England

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit logo

Index: 55.8 - July 2018
Previous month: 53.1 - June 2018

Publication date: 2nd August 2018
Next publication date: 4th September 2018

Key findings:
- Robust and accelerated rise in construction activity during July
- House building expands at sharpest pace since December 2015
- Rates of new order growth and job creation gain momentum 

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Construction Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) is a diffusion index incorporating survey results provided by construction firms throughout the country. A reading above fifty suggests the construction sector is expanding, while a reading below fifty suggests the construction sector is in contraction. Policymakers and traders watch these surveys closely as purchasing managers usually have early access to data about their company’s performance, rather than waiting for the hard data to emerge.

Source: Markit Economics

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC flag

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr April to June 2018): 38,978 
Total Registrations (Rolling Q1 April to June 2017): 40,313
Percentage Change: -3%.

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr April to June 2018): 26,808
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Q1 April to June 2017): 28,964

Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr April to June 2018): 12,170
Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Q1 April to June 2017): 11,349

Commenting on the latest figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “We have seen some promising numbers coming through, in particular during May and June.

“The demand for new homes across the UK remains strong, so this is encouraging news for the industry and for consumers who are looking to buy a brand-new home.”

Release Date: 26 July 2018
Next Release: August 2018

Source: NHBC

UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Main points:

  • In the three months to June 2018, the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 2.1%; the largest increase since February 2015, with growth across all main sectors.

  • Food stores saw the strongest three-month on three-month growth since May 2001 at 2.2%, with feedback from supermarkets suggesting that the continued good weather and World Cup celebrations had encouraged food and drink sales.

  • While hot weather and World Cup celebrations increased food store sales, it was suggested by retailers that these factors resulted in a decrease in footfall in non-food stores; which, along with non-store retailing, resulted in a monthly decline of 0.5% in the quantity bought.

  • The decline of 0.5% in June 2018, when compared with the previous month, also followed two months of strong growth in April and May 2018.
  • Online sales as a total of all retailing remained unchanged at 18.0%; online spending in clothing and footwear stores continued to achieve new record proportions of online retailing, for the fourth consecutive month, at 17.5%.

Period: June 2018

Released: 19th July 2018
Next Release Date: 16th August 2018

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the period 29 April 2018 to 26 May 2018.

Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.

Source: Office for National Statistics


UK Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPIH image

Main points:

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in June 2018, unchanged from May 2018.

• Rising prices for motor fuels and domestic gas and electricity produced the largest upward contributions to change in the rate between May and June 2018.

• Falling prices for clothing and games, toys and hobbies provided the largest downward effects.

• The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.4% in June 2018, unchanged from May 2018.

Release Date: 18th July 2018
Next Release: 15th August 2018

Price indices, percentage changes and weights for the different measures of consumer price inflation.

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Producer Price Inflation (PPI)

Producer Price Index

Main points 

- The headline rate of inflation for goods leaving the factory gate (output prices) was 3.1% on the year to June 2018, up from 3.0% in May 2018.

Prices for materials and fuels (input prices) rose 10.2% on the year to June 2018, up from 9.6% in May 2018.

- All product groups provided upward contributions to output annual inflation; the largest contribution was made by petroleum products.

Input annual inflation increased to its highest rate since May 2017; crude oil continued to provide the largest upward contribution, despite falling on the month.

Release Date: 18th July 2018
Next Release: 15th August 2018

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (March to May 2018)
Previous annual rate: 4.5% (March to May 2017) 

  • Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between December 2017 to February 2018 and March to May 2018, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people decreased and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) also decreased.
  • There were 32.40 million people in work, 137,000 more than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 388,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.7%, higher than for a year earlier (74.9%) and the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 1.41 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 12,000 fewer than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 84,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.2%, down from 4.5% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.

Period covered: March to May 2018

Publication date: 17th July 2018
Next publication date: 14th August 2018

The level and rate of UK unemployment measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) using a definition of unemployment specified by the International Labour Organisation. Unemployed people as those without a job who have been actively seeking work in the past 4 weeks and are available to start work in the next 2 weeks. It also includes those who are out of work but have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next 2 weeks.

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.4% between Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018 and Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018.

  • The services industries and construction increased in Quarter 2 2018, by 0.5% and 0.9% respectively; while production decreased by 0.8%.

  • Household spending grew by 0.3% and business investment increased by 0.5% between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 2018.

  • The trade deficit widened by £4.7 billion in Quarter 2 2018 (in current price terms), with net trade dragging on GDP growth as a result.

  • Growth in compensation of employees slowed in Quarter 2 2018 to 0.6%, but continued to contribute positively to GDP growth.

Release Date: 10th August 2018
Next Release Date: 28th September

Preliminary, second and final estimates of GDP released over a quarter as more data becomes available. The final estimate is published in the Quarterly National Accounts. GDP is the main measure of UK economic growth based on the value of goods and services produced during a given period.

Source: Office for National Statistics

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image

Covering the five weeks 27 May – 30 June 2018

- In June, UK retail sales increased by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis from June 2017, when they had increased 1.2% from the preceding year.

- On a total basis, sales increased 2.3% in June, against an increase of 2.0% in June 2017. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.2% and 1.5% respectively.

- Over the three months to June, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 1.4% on a Total basis and 2.7% on a Like-for-like basis. This is an improvement over the 12-month Total average decline of 2.4%.

Over the three months to June, Food sales increased 0.3% on a like-for-like basis and 1.7% on a total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 3.7% but includes April, which was negatively distorted by the timing of Easter.

Over the three-months to June, Non-Food retail sales in the UK decreased 0.2% on a like-for-like basis and increased 0.8% on a Total basis. This is higher than the 12-month Total average decrease of 0.1% and the best 3-month average since September. It was the second consecutive month of growth in Non-Food.

- Online sales of Non-Food products grew 8.5% in June, against a growth of 10.1% in June 2017. This is below the 3-month average of 9.0% but above the 12-month average of 7.9%. Online penetration rate increased from 22.3% in June 2017 to 23.3% in June 2018.

Release Date: 10th July 2018
Next Release Date: 12th August 2018

Source: KPMG Monitor

UK Population Figures

UK Census

UK population: 66,040,229 (30th June 2017 estimate)
UK population: 65,648,100 (mid 2016 estimates)
Percentage change: +0.6%

2016 Data:

Male: 32.4 million (49.3%)
Female: 33.0 million (50.7%)

Estimated population of England: 55,268,100 (84.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Scotland: 5,404,700 (8.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Wales: 3,113,200 (4.7% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Northern Ireland: 1,862,100 (2.8% of the UK’s population)

Mid-year population estimates relate to the usually resident population. They account for long-term international migrants (people who change their country of usual residence for a period of 12 months or more) but do not account for short-term migrants (people who come to or leave the country for a period of less than 12 months). This approach is consistent with the standard UN definition for population estimates which is based upon the concept of usual residence and includes people who reside, or intend to reside, in the country for at least twelve months, whatever their nationality.

Data last updated: 28th June 2018

Next Update: June 2019

Source: ONS


Insight provides a host of information I need on many of our company’s largest customers. I use this information regularly with my team, both at a local level as well as with our other international operations. It’s extremely useful when sharing market intelligence information with our corporate office.

Paul Boyce - European CEO, QEP Ltd.

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